Tag Archives: sacred

The hand of Guido

The pressure to post something new every day leads me to the most interesting places.

Today I learned about the Guidonian hand, an eleventh century mnemonic device for unaccompanied singing. As Jesse Rodin, an assistant professor of music at Stanford observes,

“If you’re a violinist and it’s time to play a piece, you put your finger on a certain place on the violin, and, with the help of a bow, the instrument makes a sound. If you’re a singer, you can’t do that…. So the Hand is effectively a fingering system for the voice. It’s a way of assigning each frequency or relation of frequencies a physical place on the body.”

Path of miracles

Conspirare will be performing Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles this weekend here in Austin. The work in four movements is inspired by Spain’s Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James); a pilgrim’s path that has been traveled by hundreds of thousands of souls. Coincidentally, this work was commissioned by Tenebrae which I only discovered for myself last week.

All this is very exciting, but nonetheless it would indeed take a miracle for me to attend the concert so for now I’ll be content with the blessings of recorded music.

John Tavener: The Lamb

When I listen to the music of John Tavener it simply will not remain in the background.  The Lamb is sung here by The Tenebrae Choir.